Anonymous expert compilation, aalysis, and reporting.
Russia again making a lot of headlines, and complaining very loudly about the injustice yet again inflicted on poor hapless Russia – Facebook takes down around 500 bogus users and sites set up by Russian entities. Most of these were targeting former Soviet republics, and 107 cited to be targeting specifically Ukraine. This will slow the Russians down for a few weeks, maybe months, as they create more bogus identities and pages. However, Facebook has thrown a wrench in to the current propaganda effort to meddle in the Ukrainian election. Putin visiting Serbia makes august pronouncements on Nordstream 2, while speculation grows that a Romanian-led EU will soon kill the project.
Pastukhov predicts Brexit blowback for Russia, not unlike Trump blowback. Dozhd report Whelan is accused of collecting data on Russian intelligence. Russia’s answer to Streicher, Kiselyov, asserts that “Nazi-loving Ukrainians are running the government in Canada”. Thompson on Baltic strategies to beat Russian propaganda. The Integrity Initiative comes under Russian attack. Perla on the Russian public migration away from govt propaganda to fake news beliefs. Bundestag staffer for the pro-Muscovy Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, Manuel Ochsenreiter, now being investigated for orchestrating false flag arson attack in Ukraine.
Ukrainian FM Klimkin comments on current negotiations between Kyiv and Washington over more lethal weapons supplies: “We are now conducting such negotiations. I cannot talk about individual systems. This is a confidential issue.” “We are talking about a very serious strengthening of the defense capabilities of both our armed forces and our defense sector as a whole.” Needless to say there is a huge range of US weapons that Ukraine could employ to good effect against the Russians.
Peace in our time, German FM Maas (SDP) solves the Kerch crisis singlehandedly, declaring the strait open to traffic again – he will put Gabriel to shame with his even more incisive insights into Russian intent. Eidman makes optimistic predictions for post-Putin reconciliation between Russia and Ukraine.
Russia deploys Iskander / Iskander M TBM/GLCM to Ukraine’s borders. Donbas update and two excellent backgrounders. Russia deports known pro-Russian Donbas propagandist Olena Boiko to Ukraine where she is arrested for treason.
Updates on politics, one leading presidential candidate sprung owning companies inside Russia.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of the RT broadcaster and the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency suggested that the IT giant’s actions were similar to censorship.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The actions of the Facebook social network, which has removed hundreds of accounts and pages allegedly related to the personnel of the Sputnik international news agency and radio, are politically motivated, Sputnik’s press service said on Thursday.
Sputnik news agency says it was engaged in legitimate promotion of its content, before Facebook took down hundreds of accounts it said were secretly run by its staff, following a tip-off from the NATO-backed Atlantic Council.
On January 17, the head of Facebook’s Cybersecurity Policy announced the removal of 364 pages and accounts that originated in Russia and operated in the Baltics, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Europe. According to Facebook, the administrators and account owners represented themselves as independent news pages and general-interest pages, but were really “linked to employees” of the Russian media agency Sputnik, frequently posting about topics like “anti-NATO sentiment, protest movements, and corruption.”
By Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy. Today we removed multiple Pages, groups and accounts that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Instagram. The two operations we found originated in Russia, and one was active in a variety of countries while the other was specific to Ukraine. We didn’t find any links between these operations, but they used similar tactics by creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing. We are constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don’t want our services to be used to manipulate people. We’re taking down these Pages and accounts based on their behavior, not the content they post. In these cases, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves, and that was the basis for our action. While we are making progress rooting out this abuse, as we’ve said before, it’s an ongoing challenge because the people responsible are determined and well funded. We constantly have to improve to stay ahead. That means building better technology, hiring more people and working more closely with law enforcement, security experts and other companies. Their collaboration was critical to these investigations. We’ll update this post with more details when we have them, or if the facts change. January 17, 2019 What We’ve Found So Far By Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy Today we removed 364 Facebook Pages and accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior as part of a network that originated in Russia and operated in the Baltics, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Central and Eastern European countries. The Page administrators and account owners primarily represented themselves as independent news Pages or general interest Pages on topics like weather, travel, sports, economics, or politicians in Romania, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan. Despite their misrepresentations of their identities, we found that these Pages and accounts were linked to employees of Sputnik, a news agency based in Moscow, and that some of the Pages frequently posted about topics like anti-NATO sentiment, protest movements, and anti-corruption. Presence on Facebook: 289 Pages and 75 Facebook accounts. We did not find associated accounts on Instagram. Followers: About 790,000 accounts followed one or more of these Pages. Advertising: Around $135,000 in spending for ads on Facebook paid for in euros, rubles, and US dollars. The first ad ran in October 2013, and the most recent ad ran in January 2019. We have not completed a review of the organic content coming from these accounts. Events: Around 190 events were hosted by these Pages. The first was scheduled for August 2015, and the most recent was scheduled for January 2019. Up to 1,200 people expressed interest in at least one of these events. We cannot confirm whether any of these events actually occurred. Our analysis benefited from open source reporting and work by our partners who investigate this kind of activity. We have also shared information about our investigation with US law enforcement, the US Congress, other technology companies, and policymakers in impacted countries. Below is a sample of the content posted by some of these Pages: Separately, based on an initial tip from US law enforcement, we also removed 107 Facebook Pages, Groups, and accounts, as well as 41 Instagram accounts, for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior as part of a network that originated in Russia and operated in Ukraine. The individuals behind these accounts primarily represented themselves as Ukrainian, and they operated a variety of fake accounts while sharing local Ukrainian news stories on a variety of topics, such as weather, protests, NATO, and health conditions at schools. We identified some technical overlap with Russia-based activity we saw prior to the US midterm elections, including behavior that shared characteristics with previous Internet Research Agency (IRA) activity. Presence on Facebook and Instagram: 26 Pages, 77 Facebook accounts, and 4 Groups, as well as 41 Instagram accounts. Followers: About 180,000 Facebook accounts followed one or more of these Pages, and more than 55,000 accounts followed one or more of these Instagram accounts. Advertising: Around $25,000 in spending for ads on Facebook and Instagram paid for in rubles. The first ad ran in January 2018, and the most recent ad ran in December 2018. We have not completed a review of the organic content coming from these accounts. Events: No events were hosted by these Pages. Below is a sample of the content posted by some of these Pages: Our security efforts are ongoing to help us stay a step ahead and uncover this kind of abuse, particularly in light of important political moments and elections in Europe this year. We are committed to making improvements and building stronger partnerships around the world to more effectively detect and stop this activity. Read more about our investigations into cyber threats and information operations.
Facebook uncovered and cut ties with hundreds of fake accounts tied to Russia that were engaging in inauthentic behavior, the tech giant announced Thursday.
One operation is said to have links to Sputnik, a Moscow-based news agency, and affected Central and Eastern European countries. The second Russia-linked operation operated specifically in Ukraine.
Facebook is purging Russian propaganda. A new Russian capability is also confirmed. Sputnik is now performing work previously done by the Russian troll farm in St. Petersburg, creating fake pages, networks and buying fake political ads. </end editorial> Facebook continues to play whac-a-mole with propagandists.
“Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior” is such an anodyne way of describing weaponizing information to poison attitudes and democracies. That’s the euphemism that F…
Social media giant pulls accounts believed to peddle fake news in Ukraine and eastern and central Europe with more than 1 million followers
Disrupts huge disinformation network.
Facebook said it had removed pages and accounts linked to what it said were two Russia-based misinformation campaigns, the latest step in the social-media company’s effort to prevent misuse of its service.
Facebook has deleted hundreds of pages linked to the Kremlin-backed propaganda network known as Sputnik. The pages, allegedly operated by Sputnik employees, were made to look as though they were coming from outside of Russia. The Facebook pages helped spread propaganda about NATO and European politics, among many…
Facebook just took down two large disinformation networks that were linked to Russia. They were operating in Central and Eastern European countries.
Facebook has deleted 107 pages, groups and Facebook accounts, as well as 41 Instagram accounts created in Russia and operating in Ukraine, for participating in coordinated misbehavior, Nathaniel Gleicher, head of Facebook Cybersecurity Policy, said during a conference call on Thursday. Facebook has deleted 107 pages, groups and Facebook accounts, as well as 41 Instagram accounts created in Russia and operating in Ukraine, for participating in coordinated misbehavior, Nathaniel Gleicher, head of Facebook Cybersecurity Policy, said during a conference call on Thursday. “The people behind these accounts were mostly represented by Ukrainians and used various fictitious accounts, at the same time sharing local Ukrainian news on various topics such as weather, protests, NATO, and school health. We found some technical overlaps with activities in Russia, which we observed before the mid-term elections in the United States,” Gleicher said. Gleicher said 26 pages, 77 Facebook accounts and four groups were identified, as well as 41 Instagram accounts. He said about 180,000 Facebook users and more than 55,000 Instagram users were following one or more of these pages. Advertising costs amounting to about $25,000 on Facebook and Instagram were paid in Russian rubles. The first publications appeared in January 2018, and the last – in December 2018. “We have not yet completed the review of organic content coming from these accounts,” he added. As previously reported, Facebook in November 2018 blocked 30 Facebook accounts and 85 Instagram accounts used for “coordinated misbehavior” in the U.S. midterm elections.
Facebook said Thursday that it has deleted a number of pages on its platform that were operated by Russian news agency Sputnik and promoted anti-NATO sentiment in eastern European countries.
A large network operating in Europe was coordinated by Russian state news agency Sputnik.
Facebook has removed hundreds of pages, groups, and accounts on its Facebook and Instagram platforms that the U.S. company says were part of two online disinformation operations targeting users acr…
There were hundreds of fake accounts.
Facebook removed hundreds of pages on Thursday it said posed as independent news sites in eastern Europe and elsewhere but were actually run by employees at Russian state-owned news agency Sputnik.
Facebook removed several hundreds of pages and accounts originating in Russian that pretended to be pages from Eastern European countries.
Facebook Inc said on Thursday it had removed hundreds of Russia-initiated accounts, which it judged to be involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior on its platforms, including some linked to state-owned news agency Sputnik.
Facebook removed nearly 500 pages and accounts targeted at Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Some originated from an agency controlled by the Kremlin.
The US technology giant has shut down more than 360 pages and accounts, with some tied to an infamous troll farm. Under immense pressure, Facebook has started to target online influence operations and hate speech.
Social network says it has taken down 289 pages connected to Kremlin-backed news website
“This is the first time we’ve seen this sort of operation run by a state propaganda agency.”
Facebook Inc. said it disrupted two campaigns run by fake accounts with links to Russia and its Sputnik news service as it continues to grapple with misinformation on its platform.
A Russian state-backed news agency has been using Facebook to spread its content through fake accounts.
In a press conference after meeting with Serbian President Aleksander Vučić, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about the risk of transiting Russian gas to Europe through Ukraine. According to Putin, the Russian delegation to the trilateral gas meeting in Brussels will bring up this issue. “The management of Gazprom will be in Brussels next week, and will discuss a number of collaboration matters. Incidentally, [they will also discuss] transit through Ukraine, taking into account the growing supply volume of our natural gas to Europe. Last year it was a record – more than 200 billion cubic meters – and it continues to grow,” Putin said. “We will load not only both Nord Streams, not only the Turkish [Stream], but with this supply volume to European consumers, the possibility remains of transit through Ukraine,” the Russian President added. Earlier, Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev said that Russia does not intend to guarantee that it will transit gas through the Ukrainian gas transport system after 2019. In a joint press-conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in May last year, Putin said that Russia does not plan to stop the gas transit through Ukraine after the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline becomes operational. At the time, he also said that the transit will be continued, provided it is “economically justified for participants in the economic activity”. He later made similar statements after meeting with US President Donald Trump, promising to extend the gas transit contract.
CEO of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine Andriy Kobolyev has said the European Parliament chaired by Romania can make a decision that will stop the construction of the second line of the Turkish Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines. There is a clear understanding that Nord Stream 2 is exclusively in the interest of Germany and unlikely in the interest of other EU countries, Kobolyev said.
Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas believes that even U.S. sanctions are able to stop the construction of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that is aimed to deliver Russian gas to Europea bypassing Ukraine. U.S. sanctions could force European companies to withdraw from the pipeline project but this would not stop Russia from completing the pipe independently, Heiko Maas claims.
Ukraine complains to UN over Russia’s arrest of sailors. It called for consolidated international pressure on Russia to secure the sailors’ release. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
Ukraine expects that the European Parliament will take decisions on hindering the completion of construction of the Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream gas pipelines. — Ukrinform.
CEO of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine Andriy Kobolyev has said gas transit through Ukraine may be terminated in early 2020 if a new contract is not signed. This has already been done twice in 2006 and 2009.
Paul Goble Staunton, January 17 – The mafia says that you must be careful what you wish for because it could come true especially if what you want is only a short-term goal and you ignore its long-term consequences, Vladimir Pastukhov says. Unfortunately, that is a trap Vladimir Putin has fallen in with Donald Trump, Brexit, and in domestic affairs. On Ekho Moskvy’s “Personally Yours” program, the London-based Russan historian observes, the Kremlin leader has often celebrated his short-term achievements without recognizing that in almost every case, those successes carry within them larger and more serious failures (echo.msk.ru/programs/personalnovash/2352029-echo/). Putin backed Trump for US president expecting that the latter would make the kind of concessions to Russia that Moscow wants. Putin was right that Trump wanted to do so, but the Russian president failed to understand that the American political system would compel the US leader to behave even more harshly to Russia because of these Russian ties than if he had not had them. More recently, Pastukhov observes, Putin has promoted Brexit on the assumption that the departure of a major player from the EU will weaken Europe to the point that it will not be able to maintain a common posture on sanctions against Russia, Pastukhov says. Again, short term, that may be the consequence. But the weakening and possibly demise of the EU will make international relations in Europe and elsewhere more unpredictable, creating crises that Russia will be drawn into in many cases at high cost to itself, a cost that analysts can see but that Putin apparently prefers to ignore in his pursuit of short-term goals. The Kremlin leader does not appear to recognize that if the UK pulls out of the EU, someone else in Europe, Germany or France will fill its role – and that role will almost certainly be more anti-Russian than either of them is today. Putin believes that divide and rule always works. It may for immediate goals, but it also sets in train forces that lead to resistance. Those who lived through the collapse of the USSR should remember, Pastukhov says, that it was domestic forces that tore that state apart and that those forces involved not just techtonic shifts along ethnic or regional lines but the struggle for power between Gorbachev and Yeltsin. Indeed, that struggle may have been far more important. The same thing is true in the US under Trump and in Britain with regard to Brexit, but it is also true within Russia. Putin is pursuing short term goals, such as filling government coffers with new taxes on the population that are helping him achieve that goal but only at the cost of alienating the population and undermining his own position. The Kremlin leader, he suggests, has either forgotten or never heard the story Carlyle tells in his history of the French revolution. The French king, fearful that revolutionary attitudes would infect his own guard, replaced them with soldiers from Switzerland who, he believed, would not be infected by revolutionary ideas because they did not speak French. The French king was wrong for, as Carlyle observed, “’if soldiers were made of iron, not a single revolution in the world would occur.’ But of course “they are not made of iron,” and they are affected by forces larger than those the French kind or Vladimir Putin understand. Such leaders achieve their short-term goals but fail because they do not look further into the future.
Paul Whelan, the former U.S. Marine who was arrested in Moscow on December 28, has been accused by investigators of collecting secret information about one of Russia’s special service agencies, TV Rain reports. The independent station referenced an anonymous source familiar with the investigation. That source also said the FSB began building a file on Whelan in May 2018, well before his arrest, and that the file includes both telephone and online conversations.
Russia is absolutely drunk on propaganda. Dmitry Kiselev on Russia TV1 is claiming that “Nazi-loving Ukrainians are running the government in Canada”, and determining Canadian foreign policy. A graveyard for Ukrainians killed fighting Russia alongside Nazi German troops justifies Kiselev’s “ludicrous” claim that the Ukrainians in Canada are “Nazi-loving”. </end editorial> Jan 15, 2019 9:29…
European countries, especially the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, have confronted Russian disinformation campaigns for decades. The US can learn from their experience.
This is an excellent article using an example from the Baltics and proposing it as a possibility in the US. One term is used with which most Americans may not be familiar. Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a…
In late November, a scandal erupted in the largest Russian media. Propaganda publications told us about the “British anti-Russian program,” The Integrity Initiative, which, according to RIA Novosti, “was used to interfere in the internal affairs of European countries and for the information war against Russia.” The Russians refer to internal documents of the British project, saying that the hacker group Anonymous claimed responsibility for obtaining them. At the same time, even the Russian media don’t deny that the goal of the Integrity Initiative was not creating propaganda but fighting against it. “The stated goal of the Integrity Initiative project is to fight against ‘Russian propaganda and information attacks.’ The way to do it is to form a network of knowledgeable people from the political, military, academic, and expert areas,” RIA Novosti quotes the British project in one of their articles (as of now, this website contains over 30 publications about the Integrity Initiative). Nevertheless, Moscow is trying to prove with all its might that the goal of the project is to deliberately denigrate Russia and “interfere in the affairs of other countries.” Through the mouths of hackers, Russia states: “Hiding behind noble intentions, Britain actually created a large information secret service in Europe, the USA and Canada… As part of the project, Britain has repeatedly interfered in the internal affairs of independent European states.” At the same time, Russian propagandists claim that the project is nothing but a brainchild of British intelligence services and is “closely connected with British intelligence.” The scandal has grown so large that members of the Russian State Duma have already stated their willingness to conduct an investigation into the Russians cooperating with the project, and the Russian embassy asked the British Foreign Ministry for clarification about the authenticity of the published documents on the activities of the Integrity Initiative, as well as the information about all the projects on Russia funded by the Ministry.
Paul Goble Staunton, January 17 – Russians’ trust in their government has fallen so low that they are now more inclined to believe fake news of any kind than to accept official declarations or explanations, according to Moscow commentator Andrey Perla. Indeed, the widespread belief that the powers that be are lying and hiding things opens the way to the most fantastic fake news. And with the spread of this lack of trust in the authorities, he continues, “the probability of panic and a spontaneous rising increase.” And it may soon be the case that the authorities “will not be able to do their work since a necessary condition of this work, especially in a crisis, is the trust of society” (realtribune.ru/news/people/1515). Despite the fact that the Russian media are filled with untruths, Perla says, “the trust of society in the media has remained anomalously high.” A major reason for that is that trust in the authorities and especially those at the regional level has become anomalously low.” Whenever the media say “the authorities are hiding something,” they can sell any falsehood on their own. The more hyperbolic their claims, the better, Perla says, such as the case of the Magnitogorsk gas explosion being “not an unhappy accident but a terrorist action.” The authorities contribute to this by refusing to be open with people and allowing the media to say quite honestly that “the powers that be are hiding” information from the people. The reason people in the media lie, of course, is that the penalties for doing so are minimal in almost all cases given existing law and its enforcement by the courts and the benefits of doing so in attracting attention are great because that is how outlets make their money, the commentator says. Repression won’t stop this; in any case, “the government cannot apply to liars really serious repression. They will shoot those who spread panic,” but they can’t go after all those who bend the truth. Consequently, unless a culture of healthy skepticism is promoted, fake news will continue to win out – and both the government and the population will suffer.
ISIS has belatedly claimed responsibility for an explosion that shredded an apartment building in Magnitogorsk on December 31 and killed 39 people. The terrorist group says it was also involved in a deadly minibus fire the following night. Immediately after this announcement, Russia’s Federal Investigative Committee reiterated that a gas leak is the leading explanation for what caused the apartment collapse. Since the tragedy, several news outlets have reported unverified rumors that the supposed gas leak was actually the work of terrorists. On January 18, even more details about a potential terrorism link emerged. Meduza summarizes what various sources have claimed about the Magnitogorsk apartment collapse.
In a new survey of Russian citizens conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM), 54 percent of respondents indicated that the Russian government’s actions in the past month left them feeling dissatisfied or resentful. The survey was conducted on January 12 and 13 and included 1500 respondents from 104 municipalities and 53 Russian regions.
A parliamentary worker for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) has been accused of ordering a false flag arson attack in Uzhhorod, Western Ukraine, back in February 2018 in an attempt to discredit Ukraine’s government. Deutsche Welle reported that on January 15. Three Poles are on trial in Poland following last February’s firebombing of a Hungarian culture center in Uzhhorod, western Ukraine. According to Polish authorities, the attack was to be attributed to Ukrainian neo-Nazis in order to sour relations between Ukraine and Hungary. One of the accused, named only as Michal P., told the court that the attack, in which Molotov cocktails were used, was ordered by Manuel Ochsenreiter, who works in the office of AfD Bundestag member Markus Frohnmaier, DW reports. Related: Court takes into custody one of suspects in arson of Hungarian Culture Association Michal, who is also charged with funding a terrorist organization, told the Krakow court that Ochsenreiter gave him €1,500, plus money for a plane ticket, to find people to carry out the attack. Michal told the court that he had received €500 in advance, hidden in a book sent by post, and €1,000 handed over in person by Ochsenreiter at Berlin-Tegel Airport. He testified that he and Ochsenreiter had communicated in English via the messaging app Telegram and that he later sent the AfD worker videos of the attack on the app. According to Michal’s testimony, Ochsenreiter had been particularly insistent that smoke traces be visible on the outside of the building.
Berlin prosecutors are investigating a far-right German journalist who was implicated by a defendant in a Polish court of involvement in the firebombing of a Hungarian cultural center in western Ukraine last year. The preliminary investigation into Manuel Ochsenreiter, a vocal supporter of Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine who has been interviewed numerous times in Russian state media, is based on “suspicion of serious arson,” a spokesperson for the Berlin prosecutor’s office told RFE/RL on January 18. The existence of the investigation into Ochsenreiter was first reported on January 17 by the German newspaper Die Zeit, which cited its own “information.”
Russian media announced on 18 January that the country air force had agreed to buy 14 MiG-35 multirole combat aircraft in 2020. According to the state-owned TASS news agency, Russian Aerospace Forces will sign a contract for the delivery of another batch of MiG-35 4++ generation multirole jet fighters in 2020. “In 2020, a new contract to supply another batch of 14 MiG-35 fighter jets, presumably within three years, is expected to be signed,” the source said. Earlier, an aviation industry source told TASS that under a contract signed in August 2018, two MiG-35UB combat trainer jets were manufactured and delivered last year. Four MiG-35S (serial version) fighters will be handed over to the Aerospace Forces in 2019. The MiG-35 (NATO reporting name: Fulcrum-F) is a Russian multirole fighter that is designed by Mikoyan, a division of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). Marketed as a 4++ generation jet fighter, it is a further development of the MiG-29M/M2 and MiG-29K/KUB fighters. The single-seat version is designated MiG-35 and the two-seat version MiG-35D. The fighter has vastly improved avionics and weapon systems, notably new precision-guided targeting capability and the uniquely designed optical locator system, relieves the aircraft from relying on ground-controlled interception systems and enables it to conduct independent multirole missions. The MiG-35 designation was originally applied to an earlier attempt to produce an advanced version of the MiG-29. Six MiG-29M prototypes were produced between 1986 and 1991, and the MiG-29M was briefly re-branded as the MiG-35 before being abandoned. Early also was reported that contract for a serial batch of Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jets to be signed in 2020.
KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said on Friday that arms negotiations were ongoing with the United States. Asked about the prospect of the U.S. selling lethal weapons to Ukraine, Klimkin said: “We are now conducting such negotiations. I cannot talk about individual systems. This is a confidential issue.” “We are talking about a very serious strengthening of the defense capabilities of both our armed forces and our defense sector as a whole,” he told reporters at a press conference.
18.01.19 18:08 – Ukraine arranging new military goods supplies from US, – Klimkin Ukraine has started negotiations on new military equipment supplies from the U.S. View news. “We are in the middle of negotiations. I cannot give you all the information as some of it is classified, but we are talking about significant reinforcement of our army and security system. It is about raising the level of the Ukrainian armed forces to that of NATO countries,” Klimkin said commenting on Ukraine’s chances to get new lethal weapons according to the law allowing the Ministry of Defense to purchase military equipment abroad. Klimkin hailed the adoption of the law authorizing security structures to buy military goods without involving Ukroboronprom (state owned defense industry concern. – Ed.).
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said on Friday that arms negotiations were ongoing with the United States. Ukraine and the United States are discussing the strengthening of the Ukrainian defense capabilities.
The Baltic states and Poland are advocating that new sanctions be imposed on Russia in connection with its capturing of Ukrainian sailors near …
It is widely acknowledged that ships can pass through the Kerch Strait – a body of water shared between Russia and Ukraine – is now free, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday. “The Kerch Strait is currently free – that’s what everyone involved says,” Maas said.
It is widely acknowledged that ships can pass through the Kerch Strait – it is now free, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said. — Ukrinform.
It is widely acknowledged that ships can pass through the Kerch Strait – a body of water shared between Russia and Ukraine – is now free, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to the proposal of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to allow access of experts from Germany and France to the Kerch Strait area. The Russian foreign minister added that today, his German counterpart submitted a proposal “that ‘packs’ this simple trip into a certain document that must be agreed with Ukraine.”
18.01.19 14:36 – Putin allows German and French experts to monitor Kerch Strait, – Lavrov Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that President Vladimir Putin had agreed to a proposal by German Chancellor Angela Merkel for German and French experts to monitor the Kerch Strait near occupied Crimea. View news.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin agreed on the offer of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the provision of the access of the German and French specialists to Kerch Strait as Interfax reported citing Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. “More than a month ago Chancellor Merkel asked President Putin to allow German specialists to come to the region of Kerch Strait and see, how the passage through these waters takes place, considering the necessity to observe the safety rules…and President Putin agreed,” Lavrov said. He added that some time ago, Merkel asked for coming not only of the German specialists but also of the French workers and supposedly Putin agreed on it too. Besides, Lavrov reported that German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas passed him an offer, “which “packs up” this simple visit in some document, which should be agreed with Ukraine”. “We told honestly if our colleagues are interested in the things promised by President Putin to Chancellor Merkel, that it can be done today, tomorrow, any time. If the issue is in the necessity to enshrine it in some political procedure in which the Ukrainian side will make some decisions but we risk appearing in the same situation as “Normandy Format” did with “Steinmeier formula”,” Russia’s Foreign Minister said. On November 25, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy attacked the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov.
Ukraine would welcome an international mission in the Kerch Strait but is concerned that Russia may manipulate it, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said. “If an international presence helps us here and they [the Russian authorities] don’t manipulate it, we undoubtedly welcome it, and it should be established,” Klimkin said at a press conference on the work of the Foreign Ministry held in Kyiv on Friday, commenting on reports that Germany and France may guarantee navigation in the Kerch Strait with Russia’s approval. Klimkin said he hopes that Ukraine’s German partners had productive talks with Russian officials. “Although, honestly speaking, I am confident that Russia will continue manipulating it. Russia’s purpose is to destabilize Ukrainian Donbas, and it is best to do so from the south. That’s clear politically, geopolitically, and economically,” Klimkin said. The issue of international control in the Kerch Strait has already been discussed with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, among others, he said. “The idea is to have international control. Not Russian control, but international control in the Kerch Strait,” Klimkin said. “This is a possibility of specialists who would see what Russia is doing independently and understand perfectly well that one must follow the principles of international law, that there is no Russian idea of any borders there, and that the principles that need to be implemented as regards the strait and the Sea of Azov are freedom of navigation in accordance with international law and the Convention on the Law of the Sea,” Klimkin said. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference following talks with the German foreign minister earlier on Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had accepted German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s proposal that German and French specialists be given access to the Kerch Strait.
18.01.19 15:20 – Ukraine, in fact, has no diplomatic relations with Russia, – Klimkin Ukraine does not actually maintain diplomatic relations with Russia, and existing contacts are reduced to the absolute minimum. View news.
Russian sociologist and publicist Igor Eydman has spoken of possibilities for a resumption of friendly relations between Russia and Ukraine or whether the feud between nations will drag on for generations. The expert also suggested the terms of a possible reconciliation between the nations.Russian sociologist and publicist Igor Eydman has spoken of possibilities for a resumption of friendly relations between Russia and Ukraine or whether the feud between nations will drag on for generations. “I am an optimist, so I believe the feud between nations will sometime become a thing of the past. Of course, the Putin regime and his barbaric aggression against Ukraine will complicate relations between Russians and Ukrainians for a long time,” he said during an online Q&A session with readers of a Ukrainian news outlet Glavred. He also predicted the terms of reconciliation: “This will depend on when this semi-fascist regime collapses in Russia and a normal democratic state emerges that will eliminate consequences of all acts of aggression and annexation, and agree on peace and cooperation with Ukraine.” At the same time, Eydman is confident this is quite realistic in the long run. “Remember the hatred between the Germans and the French. First, the Franco-Prussian war, later the First World War, the Second World War, occupation of France, and the crimes Germany committed on French soil; and now Germany and France are the two closest allies. So everything, even hatred, passes with time. As Ecclesiastes said: ‘Everything Has Its Time’,” the sociologist said.
Russian sociologist and publicist Igor Eydman believes Russian President Vladimir Putin may appoint as his successor a purely formal figure like Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev or Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu. The expert doubts that he will enjoy overwhelming public support in Russia.
18.01.19 11:02 – Russia smuggled over 1 mln artifacts from occupied Crimea, – Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories Since 2014, Russia has smuggled at least 1 million archeological artifacts from occupied Crimea. View news.
When a ship sank in the Black Sea with 3,300 tons of coal on board, Kyiv said Moscow was illegally exporting coal from areas of eastern Ukraine held by Russia-backed separatists.
Russia has deployed new Iskander missile batteries and launchers near the border with Ukraine, satellite images shot on Thursday and obtained exclusively by Fox News show. — Ukrinform.
Satellite images shot Thursday and obtained exclusively by Fox News have revealed a new Russian deployment of Iskander missile batteries and launchers near the border with Ukraine. The images show an Iskander compound, with a few bunkers and another compound of hangars.
Russia’s hybrid military forces mounted 13 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas in the past day, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as wounded in action. The enemy employed anti-tank missile launchers, grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, and small arms near the village of Pivdenne.
The Ukrainian army has tested the Pion self-propelled howitzers in the area of artillery withdrawal sites in Donbas. The self-propelled guns launch 203.7 mm shells.
It’s amazing that the mere presence of such an effective anti-tank weapon as the Javelin has brought tank attacks against Ukraine’s defenders to a full stop. Defensive lethal aid works. </end editorial>
A Ukrainian woman who has actively promoted Russia’s narrative on Ukraine and supported the proxy Russian ‘republics’ in Donbas has been deported from Russia to face prosecution in Ukraine. “Russia doesn’t abandon its own, it simply spits them out”, Olena Boiko said bitterly in a telephone interview given to a pro-Kremlin blogger from the train taking her to Ukraine. She had been thrwon out, she added “like a dirty used rag”. The 59-year-old, whose passport name is Olena Vishchur, is originally from the Lviv oblast. She left mainland Ukraine in 2015, first moving to occupied Donbas, then to Russia where she had been living, without any official work permit from 2016. She became a regular participant on television talk shows in Russia for her criticism of the Ukrainian authorities and strong support for the so-called ‘Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics’ [DPR, LPR, respectively]. She also took part in broadcasts for the pro-militant ‘Our Novorossiya’ YouTube channel. Some of her appearances can be seen in the video here. Most of her pronouncements would benefit from a fact-check, however they were made on Russian television and were, of course, applauded, not challenged. Since she often appeared as ‘an expert’, it seems likely she was paid for her efforts. Boiko was detained on 10 December 2018 after neighbours complained about a drunken party at her Moscow flat. Pro-Kremlin sources began shouting that she had disappeared, suggesting that she had been abducted by Ukraine’s Security Service [SBU]. It soon transpired, however, that it was the Russian authorities who had fined her for infringements of migration legislation and placed her in a detention unit, pending deportation. Boiko claims that she asked for political asylum back in 2016, but was turned down. During the court hearing on 13 December, she admitted breaching migration law, but asked not to be deported to Ukraine, because the SBU had initiated criminal proceedings against her on charges of encroaching upon Ukraine’s territorial integrity or treason. It is unclear whether she used her right of appeal, but there was certainly outcry from at least one communist State Duma deputy, pro-Kremlin bloggers, etc. It would be hard, therefore, to doubt that the Russian authorities knew that they were sending Boiko to face criminal prosecution in Ukraine. They would have also been aware that the charges are directly linked with her aggressive propaganda for the Russian-controlled, armed and funded ‘republics’ in Donbas. This is important given the Kremlin’s attempts to claim that Ukraine’s detention and criminal prosecution of Kyrylo Vyshynsky on more serious, but not dissimilar charges is political persecution. The SBU announced on 17 January that they had detained a “propagandist for ‘Russian world’, deported from the Russian Federation”. The report states that from 2014 she had circulated anti-Ukrainian material, had promoted confrontation between Ukrainians over political views and had publicly called for the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Since August 2015, when she left for first the occupied part of Donbas, and then for Russia, she had constantly called for a change in Ukraine’s borders or system in the media. For the moment, she is charged under Article 110 § 2 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code (encroaching upon Ukraine’s territorial integrity and inviolability). Paragraph 2 of this article is more serious and includes cases where the actions “are combined with incitement to national or religious enmity”. The investigation is being run by the Lviv oblast. Boiko’s exit from Ukraine was probably prompted by a fake separatist stunt on July 17 2015 that she and a publication called Halytsky Yastrub were suspected of involvement in. The stunt was supposed to be a mass demonstration with banners demanding greater autonomy for Halychyna (Western Ukraine). There were, in fact, only around 20 people who stood there for 5 minutes, essentially long enough for the Russian state media cameramen to take photos which were presented on Russian TV as a 300-strong demonstration blocking one of the central streets in Lviv. The stunt was just three days after two explosions outside police stations, and, like similar events in Odesa, seemed very clearly aimed at destabilizing the situation and presenting all of Ukraine as a hotbed of ‘separatism’ (see ‘Separatism’ in Lviv – For Money and Russian Propaganda. In August 2015, Volodymyr Rykhlitsky devoted an article published in the Lviv publication Zakhid.net to the above-mentioned events and the ‘provocateurs’ believed to be behind them, including Boiko. He reported that Boiko herself says she was a member of the Communist Party of Ukraine from 2004, but left it to join Halytsky Yastrub in 2011. She claimed that this was an independent journalist investigative agency, though even the head of the Lviv Communist Party admitted that it was, in fact, the party’s mouthpiece. Boiko herself says that she is a graduate of the Lviv University’s Journalism Faculty, although Zakhid.net pointed to evidence that during the period when she was allegedly studying journalism, she was serving a prison sentence for theft. This is mentioned, Rykhlitsky stresses, solely to suggest that her story does not add up. Lack of a formal journalist education would certainly not preclude a person from working as a journalist. It does, however, seem difficult to describe Boiko’s activities in the Russian media as journalism. Whether it constituted a crime is now for the SBU to demonstrate and a Ukrainian court to decide. Source: http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1547766927
Italy’s popular La Stampa recently published a photo report by photojournalist Roberto Travan, who worked in the government-controlled sector of Mariupol in late December 2018. Travan has visited the war zone in Eastern Ukraine several times “in order to capture the harsh reality of war on camera and bring it to the consciousness of Italians and Europeans through images showing a conflict that has become the grinding everyday backdrop for this Ukrainian region for the fifth year”. His photographs have been shown at many exhibitions in Italy and have won several prizes at international contests. Robert Travana’s photo recently won the Tokyo International Foto Awards in the Editorial/Conflict category. Titled The Last Sight, it depicts gunner and senior sergeant of the 72nd Separate Mechanized Brigade “Black Zaporozhtsi” Serhiy Kobchenko, who was killed shortly after, in April 2017, near Avdiyivka.
Despite the dominance of the Russian language and the Soviet image of the region as predominantly Russian, 56% of people in Ukrainian easternmost region of Donbas name themselves as ethnic Ukrainians. Donbas region in Ukraine. Source: Wikimedia Commons Moreover, in 1991 not only Ukrainians but also Russians and other nationalities — 83% of Donbas inhabitants — voted for Ukrainian independence… Nevertheless, self-declared separatist republics emerged exactly in Donbas some 23 years later thanks to Russian backing. There are demographic, historical and political reasons for Donbas being susceptible to Russian hybrid war, while other regions withstood Russia’s “Novorossiya” separatist project, which unsuccessfully laid claim to half of Ukraine
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has already terminated 49 agreements with Russia and is currently considering terminating the second package of 50 agreements. — Ukrinform.
Ukraine has already terminated 49 different agreements with the Russian Federation, and now almost fifty more are being revised, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said.
The Ministry for Veterans’ Affairs will consider the issue of granting the combatant status to volunteers. Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Iryna Friz wrote this on Facebook, referring to Head of the Council of Veterans Volodymyr Lahuta. “On January 24, 2019, a working group will hold a meeting to discuss the current issue of giving the combatant status to volunteers. The meeting will be attended by representatives of the Council of Veterans and Volunteer Forces,” Iryna Friz wrote.
Russia’s use of historical issues to antagonize Poland and Ukraine are “very well prepared,” according to Marek Szczygieł of Poland’s Department of Security Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Russia’s actions regarding the use of certain historical issues to antagonize Poland and Ukraine are very well prepared. They invested a lot of energy and a lot of money,” he said, speaking at a two-day Polish-U.S. conference on cybersecurity organized by the Atlantic Council in Warsaw on Thursday, according to Niezalezna.pl. Szczygieł, who is responsible for coordination of cyber security policy with foreign partners, indicated that one of the strategies pursued by Russia to undermine the unity of the Western world is to induce and deepen divisions between individual countries. An example of such actions is, in his opinion, Russia’s attempt to “exploit certain historical issues, e.g. as regards the Poland-Ukraine relations”. Former U.S. Ambassador to Poland Daniel Fried noted the fact that the feature of Russian disinformation is the use of the already existing divisions, like the issue of racism in the U.S. The diplomat said Russia had been doing the same thing in the UK as well as Spain (it was not Russia who invented Catalan nationalism), and France (it was not Russia who created the National Front movement). Russia exploits the existing divisions intentionally, aiming to weaken western countries, according to the diplomat. At the same time, Szczygieł argues that Western democracies are not powerless against the risks associated with disinformation, including those coming from Russia.
Polish Constitutional Tribunal recognized the terms “Ukrainian nationalists” and “Eastern Małopolska” unconstitutional in the Law on Institute of National Remembrance, as the President of Ukraine reported on his Facebook page. “Thanks to the President of Poland Andrzej Duda for initiating the proceeding, I sincerely welcome the decision of the Tribunal,” Poroshenko wrote. Related: Polish Foreign Minister offers to appoint UN Ambassador for Ukraine Earlier Parliament of Poland voted for the introduction of amendments to the law on the Institute of National Remembrance today, on June 27. The MPs abolished a clause, which involves a criminal responsibility for the attribution of Nazi crimes to Poland during the WWII, according to TVN 24. Mateusz Morawiecky, the Prime Minister initiated an amendment of the law. 388 MPs voted positively, 25 against. Related: Far-right and nationalistic “white chickens” protest near Ukraine’s Government building ‘Criminal responsibility has never been an end in itself for us. It was a fighting tool for the historical truth. It is clear that effective protection is possible by other means and actions that our government adopted over the last months,’ Michał Dworaczyk, the Head of the Office claimed this commenting the amendments. Reportedly, the Senate of Poland adopted a law without amendments on Institute of National Remembrance on February 1, 2018. The law was providing a criminal responsibility for the attribution of Nazi crimes to Poland, in particular for using the designation of Polish Death Camps. In response, Israel condemned the Polish Government in Holocaust denial.
Ukraine has received permission from U.S.-based Westinghouse to use nuclear fuel technology in the construction of a plant, Ukraine’s Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Ihor Nasalyk has said during “an hour of questions to the government” in the Verkhovna Rada.
Investigative journalists say they have found that a popular Ukrainian actor and prospective presidential candidate has links with several entertainment businesses in Russia, although he denied hav…
18.01.19 12:59 – Zelenskyi owns movie business in Russia though he claimed its termination in 2014, – Skhemy project Showman Zelenskyi, who runs for president in Ukraine, still owns movie business in Russia though he claimed to have closed it back in 2014. View news.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stated that Ukraine clearly and purposefully goes to membership in the European Union and NATO as the presidential press service reported. “We confidently follow our way. It is a way of our national consensus, national idea. And I am sure that we will not abandon this way,” Poroshenko stated. Related: NATO officials are glad that Ukraine is so serious about joining Alliance, – Head of Ukraine’s Mission to NATO The president emphasized that Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the EU is “the guide of the full-scale economic integration to the common European market”. “Ukraine successfully implements significant changes in the sphere of security and defense of the state. The Ukrainian Army entered TOP10 most powerful armies of Europe. And the law on the national security adopted last year will bring us to NATO standards with the faster tempo,” he added.